In our O’Fallon cosmetic dental office, we’ve found that many patients are looking for the same thing—a whiter, brighter smile. As teeth become stained and discolored through years of wear and tear, it’s only natural that many patients want to reclaim the young-looking, white teeth they remember. As we know the first step to achieving this white smile is diligent dental hygiene. Patients should brush and floss at least twice daily and maintain a schedule of regular dental appointments. But what if this isn’t enough?
If dental hygiene alone isn’t keeping your smile as sparkling as you’d like, it may be time to investigate teeth whitening products to rejuvenate dental enamel. What we commonly refer to as teeth whitening products are actually teeth bleaching products, because they use either hydrogen or carbamide peroxide to whiten teeth. These products do more than simply remove surface debris and plaque, they have the ability to whiten teeth beyond their natural, or base shade, of whiteness.
The effectiveness of a teeth bleaching product depends on the formulation of the whitening agent and the way that the product is applied. Over the counter whitening strips and gels utilize less potent bleach formulas. The goods news is that this means that these products can be used at home without dentist supervision. The bad news is that at-home strips and gels take longer to whiten teeth, and ultimately don’t provide the same level of whiteness.
Professional teeth whitening treatments, on the other hand, are administered in a dental office. Most patients see results after only one or two appointments. Professional bleaching is suitable for a wide variety of patients, and may be the only effective treatment for patients with persistent staining or tetracycline-darkened teeth.
Before you begin a whitening regimen, discuss your plans with your dentist. He or she can help you decide what bleaching treatment will work best for you situation. Give our O’Fallon cosmetic dentists a call if you have any questions—(636) 614-1217.